The Temple Mount, one of the most famous locations in Israel and known as the “House of God,” has been a holy site for Judaism; Christianity, and Islam for thousands of years. According to Jewish scripture, the first temple was built by King Solomon. Then the site has been rebuilt again and again; with the present site built during the reign of Herod the Great. It is easy to conclude that this land likely contains countless hidden treasures; but no archaeological excavations have ever been conducted. However, not too far away, on the slopes of Mount Scopus, surrounded by a luscious garden of ancient olive trees; and at the foot of the Hebrew University; lies a tremendous project. Within Emek Tzurim National Park is the Emek Tzurim Sifting Project, which is working to uncover the mysteries from the Temple Mount’s remains.
Emek Tzurim Sifting Project: A Project That Began As Almost On Accident
The Emek Tzurim Sifting Project began almost on accident, and if it were not for a clever young archeology student, these ruins might have been lost forever. In 1999, extensive renovations were performed on the Temple Mount to create an underground mosque. This led to the removal of thousands of tons of earth from the Mount. Unknown at the time, this earth contained countless archaeological artifacts. At one point, some of the earth was even transferred to a landfill. Luckily, the importance of this humble dirt became known, so it was gathered up and moved to the Emek Tzurim National Park to be sifted. Emek Tzurim National Park decided to turn this project into a learning experience for all while utilizing the hands of countless individuals curious about archaeology and the project.
Do you want to have the chance to discover an ancient amulet, coin, or mosaic stone? The Emek Tzurim Sifting Project lets you become an archaeologist for the day to do just that. At the Sifting Project, you will receive instruction on what to look for, be divided into groups, and get to sift through the ruins of old Temple Mount. You never know what you will uncover! This interactive project is perfect for solo travelers, couples, and the entire family. This activity is appropriate for all ages, and there is even a snack shop in case you get hungry! There is no better way to learn about archaeology and the discoveries it uncovers than with your own hands.